The largest antelope one can find in the Golden National Park is the Eland. The name Eland is derived from the Dutch word for moose. When Dutch settlers came to the Cape Province they named the largest wild ruminant herbivore they met with the name of the huge northern herbivore. In Dutch the animal is called "Elandantelope" to distinguish it from the Moose, which is found in the northern boreal forests.
They have a hump at the shoulder and a broad fold of skin hanging from the neck. Elands are said to be one of the slowest antelopes and can even jump over a height of 2.5 meters or above. Elands have an average lifespan of 15–20 years, and some have been known to live for as long as 25 years. When walking, tendon or joints in the eland's foreleg produce a sharp clicking sound, the cause of which has not been widely investigated. The sound carries some distance and is a good indication of an approaching herd.
These animals live in large herds in the park and are most frequently found on the plains near Basotho Cultural Village. They are both browsers and grazers, and both sexes have the characteristic heavy ridged, lyre-shaped horns. When suddenly alarmed, springbok perform gigantic leaps which can carry them 2m off the ground. They have excellent eyesight.
Self Drive game viewing drives are one great way to explore the park; but bear in mind it is not only the game that one get to enjoy in this part of the world, one gets to enjoy rock formation, birds, grassland and the beautiful scenery that forms part of the Drakensberg and the Maluti mountains!
The park is situated only 55km from Harrismith and the N3. It is sited along the Maluti Drakensburg Route only 350km from Pietermaritzburg, 330km from Bloemfontein and 320km from Johannesburg.
The village is only 42km away from the renowned Clarens, a tourist Mecca of the Free State Province through the scenic Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
The closest airports are Bloemfontein, Johannesburg or Durban.
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